Nikolas Ortiz Story

Nikolas Ortiz Story

#Run, Run, Run for Nikolas

Nikolas is a fun, loving, thoughtful, goofy and happy young man. He has a passion for life, his friends and family. When Nikolas was just over a year old, he had what at the time been diagnosed as a “Febrile” seizure. This seizure event was followed by two additional seizures by the age of two. All of this led to him being diagnosed with Generalized Epilepsy and initiated an anti-seizure medication plan. For a couple of years things his Epilepsy was held in check through medications and his doctor suggested that we begin weaning Nikolas off of them to see if Nikolas had outgrown his Epilepsy. Things were going according to plan until April of 2008, and Nikolas had his first ever break-through grand-mal seizure while at school. Following this traumatic event several tests were done and Nikolas was then put on a cocktail of anti-seizure drugs in hopes and successfully getting the seizures under control. During this time Nikolas remained positive, upbeat and happy.

Todd Teragaway Story

Todd Teragaway Story

It was exactly 2 years ago today that we had the celebration of life service for my brother Lonnie Scott Teragawa in Yuba City.  The picture shown above is me all the way to the left with glasses with my daughter Natalie,  our brother Shane in the center,  my sister Keri in the background,  my mom and dad,  and his other nieces and nephews in the back.  We all laid our hands on his ashes at the end of the service to pose for this photo.  For those of you who don’t know the story: my brother Lonnie died of SUDEP on Nov 6th, 2014.  He was discovered by his roommate that morning.  I remember that morning as if it were yesterday.  Seeing his name pop up on caller ID when I was at work and answering my phone “hey Lonnie I’m way to busy to talk right now let me…”  and then being interrupted by the caller (his roommate) balling,  saying “Lonnie’s dead!”  I’m choking back tears right now as I type this.  That’s the worst possible phone call anyone could ever get.  Again,  I’m 100% on board to make this as successful as possible,  and very proud that I could be considered one of the founders of this race.  I can’t wait to contribute by raising money and awareness to help prevent others from suffering epilepsy,  and worse sudep.

Kat Larson Story

Kat Larson Story

The Smith/ Larson family partnered with the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California about six years ago. We lost my cousin, Paul Smith, when he was just 22 years old. He had been suffering from seizures through college. Before graduation he lost his life after having a seizure. My family wanted to do something to honor my cousin's memory. We reached out the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California and we were able to start a college scholarship and offer it to senior high school students who are struggling with epilepsy. We have been so grateful to the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California for giving us this chance to keep Paul's memory alive. We are so excited to be apart of this Seize the Moment run. We believe that it is going to make a difference in many people's lives.

Andrew Smith Story

Andrew Smith Story

What brings me to being involved with the Epilepsy Foundation is the loss of my brother, Paul Eugene Smith. He died far too young at the age of 22 as the result of a fall during a seizure in 2010. At the time he was nearing graduation from Humboldt State University with a degree in History. We both attended the school at the time and if it weren't for us going to the same college we would not have had the opportunity to get to closer and get to know each other as young adults. He was an outgoing, very funny, athletic and intelligent young man just beginning to realize his potential in life. He was involved in a rock band as a singer, guitarist and song writer and performed on campus and at social events. He was very social and had many very close friends from college and from his childhood.


After his sudden and tragic passing, my uncle, aunt and cousin starting working with the Epilepsy Foundation to create a scholarship in Paul's memory for college students with epilepsy. For the first couple of years after he passed, I felt paralyzed in terms of what I could do to honor him and remember him. During those years I became a marathon and ultra-marathon runner and helped create and organize a half marathon event at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Running long distance has helped give me peace of mind through this tragedy. When the idea started coming together for the Epilepsy Foundation to create a running event to raise awareness for people with epilepsy, it was clear to me that I wanted to be a part of making this happen. 

Patti Palamidessi Story

Patti Palamidessi Story

As a public speaker, with personal interest of Epilepsy, I have lived with epilepsy since I was two years old, not learning these feeling I was having growing up was epilepsy until I was 16, thinking this feeling was normal. After living life with epilepsy, after trying every medicine available (without much success), I had three brain surgeries at age 38. With surgery, my memory of my past was take from me and my fear door was completely opened. With my seizures gone, what happened was just as difficult to personally start my life over again. With removing 70% of the hippocampas, I had to learn to write my name, the ABC and who my brothers were. With this type of struggle, I had to give up or keep fighting. Since I learned to be a fighter with my life of seizures, I have found the meaning of confidence, the ability to overcome a sense of fear, and how to never give up on yourself. Always stay within your own personal love for YOU.